Experts gave their perspectives on the business difficulties and how to improve the business environment more conducive to entrepreneurs. The initiative's ultimate goal is policy reform to aid in the growth of the startup ecosystem. The roundtable brought together business leaders, startup entrepreneurs, and policymakers to discussion on boosting ecommerce and startups in Bangladesh.
A number of experts and policymakers shared their views. They included Dr. Atiur Rahman, former governor of Bangladesh Bank, Tajdin Hassan, CMO, Daraz- Alibaba Group, Rezwanul Haque, head of ecommerce, a2i Program, ICT Division of Bangladesh, Sahariar Hasan Jii Sun, National Consultant, a2i, ICT Division of Bangladesh, Sabera Anwar, Founder of GoDeshi - Made in Bangladesh, and others. They presented their points of view and ideas based on their expertise and knowledge.
The roundtable discussion was moderated by Rakhshanda Rukham, co-founder of the Preneur Lab Youth and Innovations Trust. Mr. Arif Nezami, Co-Founder of the Preneur Lab Youth and Innovations Trust, was in attendance.
Dr. Atiur Rahman said, “The report did an excellent job of analyzing and identifying the problem that today's businesses face”. He also suggested, “The regulations and process should be simplified but at the same time, it needs proper surveillance and monitoring. The main problem with a trade license is that it requires renewal every year. Trade licenses should be renewed every 5 years for small businesses. Sometimes the overall registration process costs can be very expensive for a young entrepreneur.”
The new form of business, e-commerce is growing fashionable in the country, as it is in the rest of the globe. Many people, particularly women from various fields, are expressing a strong interest in starting and running their own home-based enterprises.
Tajdin Hassan said, “When a company is in growth momentum, it is sometimes required to modify strategy to bring innovation because innovation brings transparency and trust is very important for ecommerce”. He also said, “It is a very good sign that people have the habit of adopting electronic commerce as a regular part of life. Ecommerce should be backed up financially and we need to invest more on innovation, infrastructure and logistics.”
Businesses can only succeed when there is a collaborative approach and entrepreneurs are aware of procedures properly.
Rezwanul Haque said, “There are 13 types of trade license systems available in Bangladesh. We are trying to combine all of them so that entrepreneurs can create a trade license from anywhere using UBI.”
This is the ideal time to define ecommerce and startups in terms of law and policy in order to facilitate scalability, growth, and innovation.
Sahariar Hasan Jii Sun said, “Many government and semi government organisations are giving training to the entrepreneurs so that they can maintain a standard procedure.”
Sabera Anwar talked about the problem of SMEs in reaching the right people and said, “The programmes of BSCIC or SME are very much limited and the people who are actually working in these sectors are not even getting 5% of support from them. So this should be looked after”
Finally, Rakhshanda concluded the programme and shared that the ecommerce and startup sectors are currently gaining popularity among the general public. However, this industry is also up against challenges in terms of establishing itself. If the challenges can be solved and reforms implemented, this sector may provide society with a bright and promising future. More of these kinds of actions should be launched to resolve the issues.